Playlistology 101

    Playlistology 101
    Playlistology 101 - a short guide to becoming a Professional Mixmaster
    Welcome to the VOLTAGE online course for making the perfect playlist. What makes the perfect playlist you might ask? This short blog post will reveal that and unlock the secrets to crafting a cocktail of tunes that can unlock unlimited brain potential in yourself and that of your loved ones. Why work so hard to be a playlist expert? Because the perfect 11 songs can make your life easier, motivate your team, woo a lover, or win that FREE turkey dinner. It’s not rocket science, but it is science. And we’ve decided to give you a crash course in how to master this madness. So grab your lab coat and put on your safety glasses. It’s about to get loud 
    First: Pick a platform.
    Spotify is the platform of choice for us and playlists . . . . easiest and most shareable. Apple’s OK, but Spotify has it dialed. So trust us on this one. 
    Second: Practice playlist breathing. 
    If you’re familiar with a weird Manga cartoon called Demon Slayer, you’d know that different breathing methods give you varying powers. Playlist breathing is two notches up from meditation, a step before sleeping, and allows complete transcental relaxation. It goes on a 4 count. 1,2,3,4 breath in, 1,2,3,4 breath out. Ok try that…. 
    Third: Commit. 
    The perfect playlist requires unconditional effort. And complete acceptance that it may take you 5 times as long as you thought it would, and you may even find yourself returning to swap out songs and tweak song orders years after you think you’ve finished. Most likely you will miss dinner, forget about meeting an old friend, ignore calls, and search for quiet places where you can be alone to work on your “precious” like gollum. That’s the kind of effort we’re talking about. 
    Fourth: Apply the Principles of a perfect Playlist
    Every playlist must have the following. 
    - A Theme
    - A Vibe
    - A Structure
    - A Surprise
    - At least 11 songs…
    Theme: Like Ralphies “Theme” in a Christmas story - your theme should have a purpose, a proposition, or event you are building your mix for. Keep it simple like:  “buying groceries” until you feel like you can graduate on to more advanced themes like: “the car is parked out back, your dog has rabies, I love you.” Theme. Only a few such complicated themes have been attempted by dj’s who ended up never finishing their work and thus never play listing again. You’ve been warned. 
    Vibe: Carefully consider the mood and meaning you want to convey with your playlist. The right elixir of songs can bring a melody of emotions and motivations to the listener that transcends the written word, or epic speeches throughout history. This takes years, and years to master. It’s intuitive, it’s the force, it’s sometimes supernatural. So go for it, and see what happens. There are still endless vibes that have yet to be unlocked. 
    Structure: Much like a fine wine, a playlist gets better with time (and careful sequencing and structure). Start strong, build momentum, throw in a surprising twist, and end with a grand finale. Think of it as your musical pièce de résistance that leaves listeners questioning their life choices – in a good way.
    Start with a Bang: The first track is your playlist's grand entrance, so make it count. Choose a song that grabs attention, sets the tone, and invites the listeners to stop everything they are doing and listen..
    Establish a Flow : Like a killer pump track, you want your tunes to Transition smoothly and keep your listeners wheels rolling. This is where you can unlock “sweet spots” that tap that dopamine gene in all of us. 
    Build to a Climax: Just like a great story, your playlist should have a climax. Choose a standout track, a musical apex that grabs attention and leaves a lasting impression, or when stumped just search deep cuts by David Bowie. A powerful ballad, an energetic anthem, or a surprise twist can make the listener reach new highs. 
    Close strong: Leave a lasting impression by concluding with a track that resonates. Whether it's a triumphant metal anthem or fading away Zamfir and his flute, the final song should provide a sense of closure and satisfaction. Think of it as the stage dive to your musical masterpiece.
    Fifth: Surprise 
    We’re going to let you figure that one out on your own. But we like to put it in the eleventh song. For us this song we see it as  “anything goes”. So make your own surprises, and surprise us. 
    Sixth: Cover ART
    Don’t forget - the unsung hero. The cover art. The visual punchline to your musical mood. Be creative. Keep it simple. This your chance to make gold records with some amazing cover art. AI is definitely great for this. 
    So Once you’ve learned these fundamental rules you can then, like Picasso who commanded his skill and mastered his craft so well, break the rules and become a venerable Yoda of music mixing and curating.  Vying for the most expert and bold approaches to playlist craft like - the very advanced double 11 (22 song playlist)  link here - can you keep someone engaged that long????  Or delve into Double Black Diamond levels of tracklist mastery by attempting the flight time playlist:  (A mix beginning and ending on the exact second it takes to travel from tarmac to tarmac on a specific flight path (link here)  …. or just maybe one day you can transcend mix mastery with the ultimate and most advanced - one song playlist . . . a playlist within a song which is itself is in a playlist which is in a song - this breaks the current space/time continuum we currently live and exist in and can result in complete insanity if not death when not executed properly. 
    Conclusion. Just like anything in life - your playlist quality is very dependent on your commitment and due diligence to the topic. We’d love to see what you create - send us your best playlists, and let’s jam together. Good luck!
    Disclaimer: Seek professional help if you feel like you are physically dependent on crafting playlists. 
    If find yourself re-ordering the menu items in your mind at your favorite fast food joint, or complaining to your ecclesiastical leaders about the song choices in your church meetings because they didn’t employ the principle of surprise, you may need help. It’s ok. Mastery sometimes requires complete sacrifice. But it’s ok to get help, and keep your play listing in its place. 
     “This one goes to eleven” . - Nigel Tufnell, Spinal Tap
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